Martin Mittelstaedt - Globe and Mail - Oct. 17, 2009
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Friday, 30 October 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Manitoba News Release
October 26, 2009
In response to increased challenges facing Manitoba's pork industry, pork producers will now be able to access 75 per cent of their estimated 2009 AgriStability payment. This increase to the targeted advance payment will make an additional $70 million available in cash flow assistance to the industry.
"This Government is always willing to adjust programs to make sure they hit the farmgate and that's why we're announcing targeted advances to Manitoba pork producers," said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "We're working side-by-side with the Government of Manitoba to help pork producers weather the
current storm and get back to profitability."
"The challenges facing our pork producers have neither decreased nor stabilized since June when we announced TAP funding available to help support Manitoba's pork industry," said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk. "This additional funding will strengthen the current cash flow for producers as they persevere through this extended period of unprecedented market challenges."
Earlier this year eligible producer applications claimed approximately $22 million of the $31 million that was made
available to producers through TAP. With the new funding approximately 290 eligible producers in Manitoba will be
accessing an estimated total of $92 million ($22 M + $70 M). The average advance could now be in the range of $317,000.
The ministers noted this additional funding reflects the commitment made last June to adjust payment rates based on a producer's need for further advances and clearly demonstrates on-going support of an industry that is important to Manitoba and Canada.
Manitoba pork producers will soon be receiving a letter advising them of the advance they will be eligible to receive. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2010.
The AgriStability program is designed to help farmers deal with income reductions by providing assistance when their margins fall below average. The federal government pays 60 per cent of the
cost of the program and the provincial government pays 40 per cent.
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Canola field. l.p. photo
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Author Larry Powell has been researching and writing about these important and endangered pollinators for some time.
Check the Sasquatch link, not just for this but other stories critical to the future of our Prairie region.
Author's note: Few things smack of collusion between government "regulators," politicians and the agrochemical industry more than the honeybee debacle. While we know what these poison products are doing to the bees, they continue to be used. The message seems to be, we must solve every last facet of the CCD mystery before anything can be done. It's a bit like saying, "We might as well all keep smoking until cures for all cancers are found!" l.p.
Friday, 23 October 2009
Toxic Waters: Regulatory Absence Allows Chemical, Coal and Farm Industries to Pollute US Water Supplies
Posted: 23 Oct 2009 - the Green Pages
Student Earns Award For Effort to Protect Nearly One Million Acres of Boreal Forest From Industrial Logging
among the six recipients of the 2009 Brower Youth Award. Hosted by Earth Island Institute, the Brower Youth Awards are North America's most prestigious prize for young environmental leaders.
Bryan fought for years as a campaigner with the Wilderness Committee to put an end to industrial logging activity within the boundaries of provincial parks in Manitoba. Originally from Prawda, Manitoba, Bryan is now completing his degree at the University of Winnipeg.
While attending school full-time, Bryan organized rallies, spoke with elected officials, delivered classroom presentations about the issue, fundraised tirelessly,
and organized volunteers to write and collect 20,000 letters to the government.
Bryan lives in close proximity to the world's largest single land storehouse of carbon and most abundant source of fresh water, the boreal forest of the East Shore Wilderness Area in Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. As a young activist canvassing with the Wilderness Committee, he "began to realize just how much is at stake both locally and globally if the ecology of this province isn't protected in historic proportions. I also began to realize just how unregulated and destructive industrial logging and mining have been in Manitoba. If I didn't begin to dream big, act fast, and lead by example, I felt that I would have to sit back and watch a historic opportunity to stand up for public lands and protect the second largest wild area in the biosphere pass me by."
In 2008, Bryan was rewarded for his efforts when the Manitoba Legislative Throne Speech banned logging in four of the five parks with logging operations. Bryan is now actively campaigning for the protection of the Eastshore Wilderness, encompassing over 100,000 square miles of Ontario and Manitoba.
In October 2009, Earth Island Institute's Brower Youth Awards will celebrate its tenth anniversary of spotlighting North America's boldest young environmental leaders. Bryan will join five other environmental leaders under the age of 23 in receiving the Brower Youth Award and a $3,000 cash prize for their achievements, while being recognized at a gala celebration in San Francisco on October 20, 2009, with 900 individuals in attendance.
The six winners were chosen from more than 125 applicants for their creative and effective work tackling problems ranging from food justice to deforestation, global warming to pollution. The thirteen judges for the award are leaders in business, journalism and the nonprofit sector, including Josh Dorfman of The Sundance Channel's "Lazy Environmentalist", Judith Helfand, the director of the global warming film "Everything's Cool", and Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthEcho International and grandson of Jacques Cousteau.
In the first ten years of the program, the 61 current and past award recipients have raised more than $1.4 million for environmental causes, trained more than 3,000 youth in advocacy, involved more than 32,000 in projects, implemented 20 university-wide environmental policies, passed eight pieces of legislation, organized more than 3,300 events and actions, produced more than 20 documentary films, and held 500 plus lobby meetings with elected officials.
The Brower Youth Awards are generously supported by Earth Island members, as well as Visa, Clif Bar, and Klean Kanteen. More information about the Award recipients and the Award is available at http://www.broweryouthawards. org/2009media.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
October 22, 2009
PROVINCE RULES OUT PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT MEDITATION LAKE
- - -
Based on water testing results at Meditation Lake and feedback
from public consultations, the province and Tim Horton Children's
Foundation will now seek another location in Whiteshell
Provincial Park for a youth leadership camp. The decision was
announced today by Conservation Minister Stan Struthers and Tim
Horton Children's Foundation vice-president Dave Newnham.
"We will look at an alternate location in the Whiteshell to meet
the program and wilderness experience needs required by the youth leadership camp proposal while keeping in mind the needs of current and future park visitors," said Struthers. "The public review held in the spring on the Meditation Lake proposal provided many valuable suggestions that will be considered in the review of an alternative site."
Water testing at Meditation Lake over the past summer indicated
the natural variability in water quality does not meet the
criteria for the development of a major camp. The area at
Meditation Lake will continue to provide a walk-in camping
experience and access to the backcountry for the public and there
are no plans for development. Work identifying another site is
underway and will include public consultations through an
The goal of the Tim Horton camp is to help provide
underprivileged youth the opportunity to learn lifelong
leadership skills through activities and experience in wilderness
settings. The proposed facility would host youth aged 13 to 17 in
an innovative youth leadership summer program and could be
available year-round to Manitoba school children and
organizations that provide strong environmental programs.
"We appreciate the support of the provincial government in
working to find and evaluate alternative sites in the
Whiteshell," said Newnham. "We are confident another site will
be found that will respect the environmental sustainability needs
of the park, and provide a unique experience for children and
youth from economically disadvantaged homes."
The Tim Horton Children's Foundation is a non-profit, charitable
organization providing opportunities for children to develop into
positive, contributing members of their communities. It operates
six camps in Canada and the U.S., and has provided unique outdoor experiences to more than 120,000 economically disadvantaged children in the past 35 years at no cost to their families.
Open houses in Winnipeg and Whiteshell Provincial Park will be
announced later this fall to review a new proposal.
- 30 -
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Local and national consultations sessions are being planned for amendments to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) in the near future. These would require alterations of our Fisheries Act, too, allowing for harmful substances (toxic mining waste) to be dumped into dammed freshwater lakes, thus turning them into Tailings Impoundment Areas - a euphemism for ruined, former life bearing lakes.
Here in Manitoba, Crowflight Minerals Inc. (see photo, below) has applied for a permit to dump their nickel mine waste into Bucko Lake, close to Wabowden, south of Thompson, a portion of the headwaters for the Grass River system, and in woodland caribou territory. Yikes. The application is in the Public Registry and Conservation is accepting comments even though the time period has passed. We asked for that.
It is a subsidy for the mining companies. It is cheaper to dam a lake and dump waste into it than to create a pit and pour water on it to keep the ore from oxidizing in the sun. The CEN has been asked to send delegates to a session planned on the topic of the latest proposal, for Terrane Metals Corp. to use King Richard and Alpine Creek in northern B.C. as a waste pit for their copper-gold project. I'm sure you can appreciate the chemical content in the residuals from that operation. Cyanide, for instance.
MiningWatch did a good job of intervening with the Voisey Bay project in Labrador/Newfoundland but they could use our voices to lend support to their efforts to take a lead on this issue and oppose the changes by the feds and to conduct a comprehensive study administered by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
We would benefit from having position statements forwarded to us by your group. There's a chance I'll be going to the next session, held in Gatineau, to learn more about this and offer up some opinions to Environment Canada and mining companies. We don't have groups working specifically on mining issues in Manitoba, but we do have several groups interested in issues of water quality, pollution prevention, and caribou habitat. I would sincerely appreciate some solidarity in the challenging of this scheme to ruin more of our dwindling fresh water supplies and pristine habitats.
For further or background information, call EC project manager Kelly Ellis at 819 934-6056 or HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check out CEA's website.
Thanks, Lindy Clubb - assistant executive director, Mixedwood Forest Society 204 475-9608
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
MB Gov't. photo
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is called "governing from the centre." Giving away our precious resources for next to nothing in these heady days of de-regulators and free marketeers is actually seen as a badge of honour. Making corportations pay their fair share so we can enjoy decent human services is now old-fashioned, perhaps even communistic. Human health! Environment! Beware! The centrists are on the loose! l.p.
Anne-Marie Hickey, University of Saskatchewan - 10/16/2009
Canada ranks among the world's top nations in terms of renewable water supply but...
'07 as Manitoba's only
"pristine" river! l.p. photo
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Conservationists trying to prevent the extinction of Northern Bald Ibis are distraught that one of the last remaining wild bird...
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Canadian embassy in Washington asks agency to alter plan that would force lake freighters to stop burning dirty bunker fuel...
The political method has not worked so well...
Friday, 16 October 2009
In August, the Dickstone Road was granted a licence under the Environment Act but the decision was appealed on the grounds it threatened woodland caribou habitat. The licence was issued following an extensive technical and public review of potential environmental impacts including impacts to woodland caribou herds. Several licence terms and conditions were included to ensure environmental protection including requirements to monitor and protect against impacts to caribou, said Struthers.
"We take protection of caribou habitat very seriously," said the minister. "That's why we have placed strict environmental conditions on the license to control and limit access to this road and to ensure ongoing monitoring and research on caribou herds in the area."
The minister noted that no timber harvesting will take place in Grass River Provincial Park in accordance with the ban on logging in 80 of 81 provincial parks announced earlier this year. In addition, all areas proposed for logging by Tolko must be submitted for approval by the province on an annual basis, said Struthers.
MB Co-Operator - Oc.15-'09
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Dear Honourable Prime Minister,
Is it true that you won't be attending the key climate change summit in Copenhagen in December?
Here is what the Environment Canada website says about this.
"Canada will be represented at COP 15 by the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, and by Michael Martin, Chief Negotiator and Ambassador for Climate Change."
Surely your absence will only deepen the already deep cynicism that surrounds your commitment to fighting climate change and global warming.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already promised he will attend the Copenhagen conference, and urges other world leaders to do the same. He says such attendance is essential "to avert the grave danger that nations will face if they fail to agree on a new global pact tackling climate change."
I realize you might define Mr. Brown as a "socialist." But surely your attendance would go a long way toward showing the world that even Conservatives can care about Mother Earth!
Perhaps you could confirm your attendance/non attendance via return email.
Dear Mr. Powell:
On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent e-mail.
Please be assured that your comments have been noted, and that they will receive due consideration from the Minister, whom you also addressed in your correspondence.
Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre
(KAREL PRINSLOO / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection...
Monday, 12 October 2009
Science Society Sustainability
ISIS Report 12/10/09
UK’S Lackluster Low Carbon Transition Plan
in vision. Prof. Peter Saunders and Brett Cherry
The world is shifting to renewable energies in the wake of peak oil and accelerating global warming. Contrary to exhausting supplies of fossil and nuclear fuels, renewable
energy is inexhaustible energy. In 2008, more capacity in renewable energies has been added than conventional, and the trend is continuing, with many politicians and experts considering 100 percent renewable by 2050 a distinct possibility  (see Green Energies - 100% Renewable by 2050, ISIS publication). The German government, for one, appears to have made 50 to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 its target  (Germany 100 Percent Renewables by 2050,
The UK has lagged far behind. It is trailing the EU league for renewables, being third from bottom ahead of Luxembourg and Malta . UK received 1 percent of its energy from
renewables in 1995; that increased to 1.3 percent ten years later in 2005, and is currently about 1.8 percent.
The UK government’s White Paper  is a belated attempt to salvage the situation by taking on board the message of the Stern Report [5, 6] (see The Economics of Climate Change,
SiS 33) including the positive finding that mitigating climate change is not only possible but affordable.
The short term aim is that by 2020 the UK’s emissions should be reduced by 18 percent from the 2008 level, a larger reduction if the Copenhagen summit agrees appropriate
international targets. By 2050, emissions are to be cut by 80 per cent from 1990 levels, a target recommended by the Independent Committee on Climate Change as the UK’s
contribution to halving global emissions by 2050.
A separate report, The UK Renewable Energy Strategy 2009  from the Department of Energy and Climate Change sets out a path to a “legally binding target” of 15 percent of UK’s
energy from renewables by 2020, reducing 750 Mt CO2 by 2030, and decreasing UK’s overall fossil fuel demand by around 10 percent and gas imports by 20-30 percent. A £100 billion new investment will create 500 000 jobs in the renewable energy
The White Paper  contains a great deal of detail on how the targets are to be achieved. There is a long list of measures (see Box 1) for producing low carbon energy and for reducing energy consumption, and a long appendix giving the savings that each is supposed to contribute. There is to be an EU-wide carbon trading scheme with a total that reduces year by year. There is to be support for energy conservation, for the development of renewable energy sources, for measures to reduce emissions from farms, for
the creation of more woodland to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and more. That’s the good news.
Read the rest of this report
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Sunday, 11 October 2009
Aid agencies fear global disaster as support for World Food Programme hits 20-year low...
EDITOR'S NOTE: At the same time the US was pledging billions to bail out rich banks & financiers on Wall Street, it was cutting back on its pledge to the World Food Program by almost $1B!
Ironic, isn't it? Especially considering one of the counties to be hardest hit by such stinginess will be President Obama's ancentral home, Kenya! l.p.
Major shifts in fisheries distribution due to climate change will affect...
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Amy Taylor, Director of Alberta Energy Solutions with the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the announcement that the governments of Alberta and Canada will provide.....
Editor's note: Whatever became of the "polluter pay" principle? Oh, I forgot, Stephen has none! (Principles, that is.)
Friday, 9 October 2009
Toronto, ON –The Ontario Superior Court began hearing evidence this week in Grassy Narrows’ case against logging on its traditional lands. Grassy Narrows is challenging Ontario’s right to approve industrial logging that interferes with its constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights. The Grassy Narrows trappers have been in the courts for close to a decade fighting to protect Treaty 3, which was signed by the Government of Canada in 1873. The trial is expected to last approximately 75 days.
“We have never given our consent to clearcut logging, and we have never given up our right to live off this land, but the government and the corporations choose to ignore this,” said Grassy Narrows representative Joseph Fobister. “The logging is destroying a way of life for our people, and we cannot allow that.”
In her decision to award costs in advance of trial, Madam Justice Spies wrote “I have no difficulty in concluding that the treaty interpretation issue is an issue of great public importance.”  She further stated that ”in my view this is a serious issue that had not yet been squarely decided or even considered in any case before.”  She explained that “Ontario would be paying a relatively small portion of the revenues it derives from forestry in the Whiskey Jack Forest to have tested, once and for all, the constitutionality of those activities, which are being carried out at the expense of Grassy Narrows.” 
“This historic test case will set a precedent for First Nations communities across the province whose lands are being clear-cut, strip-mined, and polluted for the benefit of multinational resource extraction companies.” said Anastasia Lintner, staff lawyer for Ecojustice.
On September 1, Amnesty International and 20 other organizations renewed their call on the Province to halt all logging in Grassy Narrows territory unless the free, prior and informed consent of the community is given. 
“Decades of failure to uphold the human rights of the people of Grassy Narrows have led to tragic levels of poverty, and ill health,” said Craig Benjamin, Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples at Amnesty International. “The Province could have avoided being taken to court if it respected the right of Indigenous communities to say ‘no’ to unwanted development on their lands.”
Joseph Fobister, for Grassy Narrows: 807-466-4099
Robert Janes, for JFK Law: 250-888-5269
Kori Brus, for Ecojustice: 416-368-7533
Government and Industry officials failed to heed decades of Grassy Narrows’ official complaints, environmental assessment requests, negotiations, and public protests  giving rise to a peaceful grassroots blockade that has kept logging trucks off highway 671for nearly 7 years – the longest such action in Canadian history.
On June 3 of 2008 David Paterson, CEO of AbitibiBowater, then the largest newsprint producer in the world, yielded to international pressure and informed then Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, Donna Cansfield, that the company would discontinue using wood from Grassy Narrows territory and relinquish its license to log in the area.  AbitibiBowater’s withdrawal has suspended logging on Grassy Narrows territory, and the Band Council has entered into talks with the Province, represented by former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iaccobucci, over the long-term management of Grassy Narrows territory. 
There are growing concerns, however, that the province may have already made up its mind to continue large-scale clear-cut logging in the territory, and in March of 2009 the Province unilaterally approved a plan that identifies 27 areas to be clear-cut on Grassy Narrows territory, including 17 that will be more than 260 hectares in size. 
Seattle based lumber giant Weyerhaeuser is pursuing trees logged on Grassy Narrows territory for its Kenora Trus Joist mill to make Timberstrand products used in homebuilding throughout North America.  On June 15 Calvert Investments deleted Weyerhaeuser from the Calvert Social Index of sustainable and responsible companies due to Weyerhaeuser’s failure to meet the Index’s standards for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. 
 para 234 Keewatin v. Ontario (Minister Of Natural Resources), 2006 CanLII 35625 (ON S.C.) http://www.canlii.com/eliisa/highlight.do?text=janes&language=en&searchTitle=Ontario+-+Superior+Court+of+Justice&path=/en/on/onsc/doc/2006/2006canlii35625/2006canlii35625.html
 op. cit. para 217
 op. cit. para 237
 Correspondence dating back to 1998 can be found at : http://freegrassy.org/learn_more/resources/official_correspondence/
 Toronto Star, Peter Gorrie, June 5, 2008. Protest prompts Abitibi pullout.
 Kenora Daily Miner and News, Mike Aiken, Dec. 3, 2008.
 Kenora Daily Miner and News, Mike Aiken, March 25, 2009.
 Kenora Daily Miner and News, Mike Aiken, Sept., 2008.